Your body needs rest in order to repair itself after strenuous workouts, which is why active recovery days (or days where you don't do any form of physical activity) are important. Things like walking, foam rolling, or yoga are typically considered forms of active recovery that can ease the discomfort associated with delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. Yoga in particular has been proven to help sore muscles, but there are some types of flows you should avoid, according to two experts.
Yoga That's Good For Active Recovery
NASM-certified personal trainer Denis Morton, Peloton cycling and yoga instructor, defines active recovery as "anything that gets you moving but allows for managed output." This means, he told POPSUGAR, it's not an intense workout, though it can still raise your heart rate a bit. "Soreness is like that guest that stays at your party as long as you let it but makes a hasty exit once you start cleaning up," he said. "Soreness in your muscles requires circulation to move through. If you don't move your muscles and get your blood moving, soreness will linger. Get up, start cleaning the house, and show soreness the door." He normally recommends low-impact cycling, a moderate hike, or swimming. A gentler yoga class is great for this, too, he said.
Denis continued on to say that restorative yoga, yoga with slower movements focused on healing, can definitely help with muscle soreness. "One of the great things about yoga is that even the most basic poses can be fiery and intense or calming and meditative depending on your approach," he told POPSUGAR. "Sequences with longer holds, slower movements, and props for support and alignment can be great opportunities to deepen your breath, drop your shoulders, and reset the mind-body conversation." It's those types of movements — not too intense — that are recommended for active recovery. You can try this restorative yoga sequence or this restorative yoga flow using a wall for support.
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